Street View coming to Google maps NZ; Camera-vehicle spotted in Christchurch

UPDATE: Robert Coup on Web 2.0 showed up my google foo; The NZ Herald published this news just over a week ago.

UPDATE: I met the driver and got detail shots today

UPDATE: The car was spotted in Christhcurch again on 30th of October. Odd.

Today I was crossing Mansfield ave in Merivale, Christchurch when Celeste pointed out a 'Google car'. I looked and saw a small black car pulling off the curb with a Google logo on the side. I blinked and noticed a bunch of weird contraptions on it's roof. I looked a bit harder and saw a smallish orange-brown cylinder with many smaller circles on it. As the car started driving off I realized it was taking 360º photos for Google Map's Street View.

The Google car photographing 360º for Google Maps Street view

We raced to the car to catch it up and follow it but lost it at the first intersection (we had to get out of a tight car park). We drove around the immediate blocks for ten minutes searching for it and gave up.

Then we saw it coming down Devonport lane towards us on St Albans st. I quickly pulled a right hand turn into Devonport followed immediately by a U-turn behind the Google car and yet another right hand turn back onto St Albans street. We followed the car for another ten minutes around what I think, if I recall correctly, was this route;

View Larger Map

I think it is a black Holden Astra, very new model (2007?), registration plate EFR386.